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Whaz-it (weed I hope)

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Whaz-it (weed I hope)

Post  Nurse Grams on 6/7/2010, 6:38 pm

This is our first year in this house and we're still trying to figure out some of what the previous owners had planted. Their landscaping appears to have been pretty much neglected for the last few years and the Realtor told us the parents had let their kids live in the house while attending college nearby, so that makes sense.

There has been a "green thing" growing next to the Mums for some time. (If you look closely at the upper left corner of the second picture in this thread, you can see it's size on 5/23/10)

It has grown so fast and so large that it has developed some type of flower buds. My son decided he'd better kill it off before it went to seed and made more of itself.

Someone please tell me it truly WAS just a nasty weed (name?) and not some rare exotic plant worth a zillion dollars.



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Whaz-it?

Post  ander217 on 6/7/2010, 8:07 pm

If I'd only seen the second photo I would have said it is poke weed. It has the correct leaf color and shape, thick reddish stems, and it seems to be forming the hanging clusters of purple pokeberries. However, the first photo doesn't really look like the poke weed we grow here. Ours have larger, fewer leaves and make a more open, gangly-looking adult plant.
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Whaz-it?

Post  ander217 on 6/7/2010, 8:26 pm

I keep going back to that first photo - it's got to be pokeweed. Any other southerners on here who agree or disagree?

It's a very tasty green when it first comes up in spring, but once it gets much growth on it, it becomes poisonous. The berries are also poisonous. But the birds love the berries. We see lots of purple-splotched cars during pokeberry season.

It has a distinctive smell when cut.
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Re: Whaz-it (weed I hope)

Post  chocolatepop on 6/7/2010, 10:48 pm

Pam, contact your local MSU Extension office. They usually have a "what this" type help line. Where you basically email in a picture of a "Friend or foe" and they can help you identify!
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Re: Whaz-it (weed I hope)

Post  Nurse Grams on 6/7/2010, 11:21 pm

Thanks Chocolatepop ... after Ander217 posted that it might be poke weed, I googled "pokeweed michigan" and my hearat sank at reading the first hit; whichwas: MSU Weeds.com - Michigan's Worst Weeds - Common pokeweed

After checking around a bit, I think it might be pokeweed, too. My son had good instincts! My Grandkids are calling it the "poison poking weedie" and they all think it must die, so it's a battle to the death for the pokeweed. (Kids are twin 3y/o's and a 5y/o)
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Re: Whaz-it (weed I hope)

Post  chocolatepop on 6/7/2010, 11:26 pm

Nurse Grams wrote:Thanks Chocolatepop ... after Ander217 posted that it might be poke weed, I googled "pokeweed michigan" and my hearat sank at reading the first hit; whichwas: MSU Weeds.com - Michigan's Worst Weeds - Common pokeweed

After checking around a bit, I think it might be pokeweed, too. My son had good instincts! My Grandkids are calling it the "poison poking weedie" and they all think it must die, so it's a battle to the death for the pokeweed. (Kids are twin 3y/o's and a 5y/o)

HAAHAAHAA, sounds like your g-kids would get along GREAT with my 3 year old daughter. She is often seen "shooing" bugs from "mamas plants!"

I am in a similar position as you in that we moved to our new home last year and things are popping up here and there and I have no idea what most of it is! Sometimes I take a pic and email it to MSUE, other times I take a pic or snip and take it to a local non big box nursery.

I THOUGHT I had wild strawberries, but now I'm not sure because they aren't setting berries...

more gardeners woes right?
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Re: Whaz-it (weed I hope)

Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/8/2010, 7:46 am

Looks like poke, which I love in the Spring. The rule of thumb around here is not to eat it after May 15th. Reminds me that I need to go into the country and find some berries to plant around here. Yeah, I IMPORT noxious weeds if they are good to eat!

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Poke salet

Post  ander217 on 6/8/2010, 10:10 am

We had so much poke growing behind our house in an old barn lot that we could eat our fill and still give plenty away to friends and neighbors every spring. (My late FIL ate the stems like asparagus. I only cook the leaves.) Then my DH decided to pasture sheep in that field, and now no more poke.

Sheep eat it right to the ground, and I'm not about to get butted by our mean old ram over poke salet. I like spinach and swiss chard better, anyway.
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Re: Whaz-it (weed I hope)

Post  nursekat424 on 6/9/2010, 10:28 am

I'm right along with you on the "identify this" game of a new place. the previous tenants here did nothing but tear stuff up. we found metal barrels in the woods (like used to be used to burn trash), they had lids on them and were full of junk, and plastic walmart bags with dirty diapers in them thrown out in the woods also- disgusting!!!! But luckily for us the owners have given us free reign on landscaping and stuff. i wish you luck with the "identify this" game.
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